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Social Networks. Systems Reading Group Jay Chen 10/25/06. Social Relationships. Psychologists have studied how communication context changes social relationships Social relationships maintained through different media grow at different rates and to different depths

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social networks

Social Networks

Systems Reading Group

Jay Chen


social relationships
Social Relationships
  • Psychologists have studied how communication context changes social relationships
  • Social relationships maintained through different media grow at different rates and to different depths
  • No clear consensus as to whether one modality is better than another (email vs phone etc)
  • However, they do know of some correlations…
ability to build and maintain relationships related to
Ability to Build and Maintain Relationships Related to…
  • Cost
  • Geographic distance
  • Time spent
  • Synchrony vs. asynchrony
  • Awareness
  • Media richness
why the internet is an interesting medium for social relationships
Why the Internet is an Interesting Medium for Social Relationships
  • The Internet is powerful because it bridges distance at a low cost
  • When people first meet online they tend to “like” each other more
  • Less stressful than face-to-face meeting
  • Superficialities aside people focus on communicating their “selves”
social networks5
Social Networks
  • Not a new concept, (6 degrees of separation)
  • People typically maintain 10-20 close relationships among thousands of acquaintances
  • Metcalf’s Law – value of a network increases n2 to # of participants
    • Not exactly, but in theory.
    • Dependent upon interaction model
social networks on the internet
Social Networks on the Internet
  • Not a new concept
    • BBS/Usenet
    • Web/Email
    • Chat / Video conferencing
  • What is “new” are
    • “Weblogs” or “blogs”
    • Social Networking Websites
why are social networks all the buzz now
Why Are Social Networks All the Buzz Now?
  • As we move forward and technology provides improvements in:
    • Awareness: You not only know who your friends are, but who their friends are
    • Media richness: Voice, video, music
  • All of these contribute to making social networks online a mirror of people’s “real life” relationships
  • Growth of popular social network sites is very fast (Myspace 200,000 new users a day)
social network site hype
Social Network Site’ Hype
  • Maintain relationships with your friends
  • Form new relationships with people of similar interest
  • Find prospective employers/employees
  • Keep up to date on popular news or media
amalgamation of technology
Amalgamation of Technology
  • Newest incarnation of social networking sites attempt to subsume:
    • File sharing (photos, music, videos)
      • MySpace, Xanga, Youtube
    • Blogging / Video Blogs
      • Xanga / YouTube
    • Chat / Vchat
      • Instant Messaging (AIM/MSN)
    • Self Publishing / broadcast
      • Youtube
    • Search engines / web portals
file sharing
File sharing
  • p2p is the “newest” big thing in file sharing
  • Malicious users with fake or corrupted files is a problem
  • Research devoted to leveraging social networks to do collaborative filtering on bad files
  • File sharing on social networks means collaborative filtering of bad files
issues w social networks
Issues w/Social Networks
  • Parents & Govt. banning MySpace due to the bad rep
    • Kids subjected to obscene or unlawful sexual advances
    • 98% of K-12 schools already filtering out Myspace
  • The popular banned sites lose visitors that move to the less popular ones
  • Too many choices to choose from
  • Revenue stream beyond advertisements
  • Security & Privacy Issues
security privacy issues
Security & Privacy Issues
  • Recent malware exploiting social networks
    • Malicious Banner ads
    • Adware
    • Phishing attacks’
    • Customizable scripts
  • Facebook’s controversial decision to make visible relationship actions to entire social group
  • Everyone reading everyone’s shared information
role of systems designers
Role of Systems Designers
  • Building these social networks faces the same problems we often have in building large-scale systems
    • Scalability
    • Security
    • Usability
  • The human factor involved means understanding a bit more about what people want, and how technology can provide these things